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Bitumen tanker ablaze off Phuket not leaking cargo

Bangkok: A blazing tanker in the Andaman Sea has not leaked any fuel into the sea the Royal Thai Navy Third Fleet reported today after an observation by plane.

The 6,089 dwt ship, registered in Singapore and called Bitumen Glory, was originally reported to be heading south east on a bearing of 209 degrees by the Singapore authorities, when it caught fire 60 nautical miles from Phuket late Wednesday. All the 19 crew on board had to jump ship into the sea , but were picked up by a Romanian registered ship named Valeria, which headed for Penang.

The ship has not sunk and is still floating at sea. The fire was still burning in the cabin area but was not seen as a severe risk to the marine environment, according to the navy.

The bitumen carrier has a chequered past. Owned by a firm called Bitumen Tanker and built in 1985 it has suffered two groundings off the Japanese coast, one in 2003 (pictured) and the other last year.  [12/01/07]

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